The Archibull Prize 2012 Highlights

James Ruse Agricultural High School has won the
2012 Archibull Prize

with their entry that tells the story of the Australian Cotton industry
Secondary students from 20 schools in NSW participated in the Archibull Prize this year, exploring the theme “what does it take to sustainably feed and clothe your community for a day?
Students were required to research and showcase a key food and fibre industry, including dairy, beef, sheep meat, wool and cotton.
The students at James Ruse painted a two sided cow that is bound together by the cotton plant on her spine. It is wrapped in wire (showing the strength and viability of the cotton plant and the industry itself) and the roots spread out like a cobweb, linking all the parts of the cotton story.
The students also wrote a blog about their journey and created a video in their quest to win the Archibull Prize.
To assist the students, a Young Farming Champion was allocated to each school to guide them on their journey of discovery. The Young Farming Champions provided technical information about each food or fibre industry and shared real life farming stories with the students.
The program was very popular with students, and exit surveys found almost all had raised their opinion of farmers and the importance of agriculture to Australia. In addition, image of careers in agriculture was raised with 89% of urban students saying that they thought the agrifood sector was a good career choice.

Caroline Chisholm College won best artwork prize

“Athena”, named after the school’s female Holstein cow, says everything you could want to say about the dairy industry in Australia. With her puzzle base and upright stand, she takes the form of a trophy – a trophy proclaiming Dairy as the Winner!
The puzzle base, which depicts a stereotypical dairy farm image, opens up to reveal a series of milk myths, which are then busted by dairy industry facts.
Her sides talk about the impact of the carbon tax on the dairy industry, the staggering quantities of cows needed to provide the required amounts of milk, the processes and the biosecurity risks to the industry itself.
Scattered all over are also a series of QR Codes, which then link the viewer to a wealth of further information. Definitely the complete dairy picture!


The Archibull Prize 2013 Exhibition

James Ruse Agricultural High School

“Gossypium” is a cow of two sides – both very individual and very distinctive.
On one side, she explores the cotton industry through their reliance on water and Australia’s desperate need for this to be done responsibly and sustainably.
On her other side, she is tactile and has an x-ray effect. The digestive system is mechanical and references the machinery and the science necessary to maintain this industry.
Gossypium’s two sides are bound together by the cotton plant on her spine. It is wrapped in wire – showing the strength and viability of the cotton plant and the industry itself – and the roots spread out like a cobweb, linking all the parts of the cotton story.


Model Farms High School
Lady Moo Moo

“Lady Moo Moo” is a character!
She is dressed from head to hoof in denim and cotton, inlaid with intricate and subtle detailing. She is not a cow you are likely to forget easily – not too many cows have horns quite like hers!
Her udder and hooves have been carefully and very painstakingly wrapped with precision, and her messages have been, quite literally, sewn into the fabric of her skin.


Hills Adventist College
Missy Moo

“Missy Moo” has the weight of the wool industry resting on her shoulders.
In fact, it is literally built on this cow/sheep’s back. The old fashioned stencilling on the bale reinforces this idea even further. “Agriculture Australia” is literally riding on Missy Moo.
The bale shows some of the history, the processes and the products associated with the wool industry in Australia,
in soft, subtle sepia tones.
Her body itself, while recognisably bovine, has wonderfully tactile fleece patterning, which, while initially distorted, soon morphs cleverly into distinct, woolly little Australia maps.


De La Salle College
De la Denim

“De La Denim” tells a detailed and comprehensive story in two opposing ways. Firstly with a pictorial representation of the industry and secondly through QR codes.
Everywhere you look is a QR code sharing a snapshot of the cotton industry. Once you have played find-a-code, they allow the viewer to access a series of collected stories in a very simple and effective way.
The cotton bolls were made by paper macheing water bombs to create the boll shape.


Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College

“iMOOvie” has been out shopping (with her shopping list of sustainable requirements), and is now in the process of bringing the ‘paddock to your plate’ (in very literal terms). She is the raw ingredient in your shopping trolley, as well as the end product.
Her in-built movie channel is informative and follows the ‘paddock to plate’ idea beautifully.
Her beautiful feet make you wonder whether she is a toy (rather large one?) or if she has been literally picked up from her paddock (with paddock attached), and transplanted.
iMoovie is branded cleverly with a composite brand of the school’s crest and the brand of their Young Farming Champion Bronwyn.


Winmalee High School

“Singer” shows the yin and the yang of the cotton industry.
One side is black. It represents the manufacturing side of the industry. It is a simple, elegant and beautiful depiction of an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine. It is intricately detailed in gold.
To further the concept of the sewing machine, she has been threaded from head to tail with thread, just as a sewing machine would be. Except that in this case, the thread is not thread at all. It has been made from the sustainable re-use of discarded aluminium cans.
The other side of Singer is white. This is the consumer and highly processed side, and appears to scan you as you walk by. It is as though you have been bought, scanned and paid for at a shop – the barcode in her side lights up and she beeps when you come close! This side also has intricate detailing in the clouds of tiny red ladybirds hovering in areas. They are good for cotton plants as they eat the destructive aphids which are so damaging to the plants. In effect, Singer has her own integrated pest management system!


Macarthur Anglican School
Shorn - A

It is safe to say that “Shorn-A” is different.
She tips preconceived ways of presenting the Archibull cows on their side.
She is made from a collage of related images. They depict the breeding and farm side of the wool industry at her rear, shearing and the processes involved in the wool industry at her middle, and at her head, the final products found in the industry.
Wrapping around this collage, in an irregular pattern, is the black ‘story line’ for the wool industry.
Inside she has a simple diorama which shows different aspects of wool and its interaction with people – the breeder, the catwalk and everyday uses.
She is sitting (on a Macarthur wool bale) in her brightly coloured legwarmers and is cleverly knitting her own fleece.
A quote on her back (embedded in the colourful collage) reads “life’s too short to knit with cheap yarn”.
Her body itself, while recognisably bovine, has wonderfully tactile fleece patterning, which, while initially distorted, soon morphs cleverly into distinct, woolly little Australia maps.


Cranebrook High School

“Ginny” is a cow you want to touch.
She is vibrant and draws the viewer in. Once close, you realise she is amazingly tactile with a very interesting finish.
Ginny asks a lot of questions of the viewer and is a mass of contradictions. She is modern, industrial and abstract in style, and yet has many old-fashioned and antique elements.
She shows old cotton industry practices in the images, but also new cotton industry products which are familiar to us all. You expect these modern products to be soft and tactile and yet they are stiff and solid.
The historical images on her sides are subtle and quite monotone in palette and yet Ginny vibrates with colour and stands out across a room.
She tells an interesting story about the cotton industry but has almost no words on her sides.


To see the winning blog and PowerPoint/Video Entries please see here


For more information please contact
National Program Director
Lynne Strong
105 Clover Hill Rd
Jamberoo NSW 2533
Phone 0407 740 446

The Archibull Prize and the Young Farming Champions program are
Art4Agriculture initiatives supported by funding from:

Supporting Partners: